When the Stars Aligned at BAFTAs: Indian actors Irfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor – actors of a very differing kind – were both honoured with special tributes at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) in London on Sunday night. The two actors, who died within a day of one another in April last year, were remembered along with others such as Sean Connery, Kirk Douglas and Olivia de Havilland. Priyanka Chopra Jonas was among the presenters at the duly socially distanced ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall. The White Tiger, which had Priyanka as a star and executive producer, lost out to Nomadland that scooped up a number of awards.
Snowed in Around Baisakhi: Britain lost out on a white Christmas – it does most years despite its popularity with betters. But it has found itself a white Baisakhi; much of Britain woke up to snowfall on Monday morning, most unusually for an April 12 date in the calendar. That has not smothered high spirits over a big step in the easing of lockdown from Monday. Shops and pubs are opening, as are hairdressing salons – most critically for many. But Britons have been warned not to rush in and crowd stores, even if cases are now down to nearing zero, and half the population has been vaccinated.
Prince Philip’s Death Sheds Light on British-Indian Royal Links: Tributes to Prince Philip keep pouring in from around the world, and his extensive links with many are being recalled. But he did have particular links with the now-faded Indian royalty, unsurprisingly. And perhaps most closely with Gayatri Devi and Man Singh II of Jaipur, the cream of royalty among the Indian royalty. Gifts of Alphonso mangoes from Jaipur royalty to British royalty sat at the humble end of glittering exchanges between these royal families after Indian independence. The abolition of the Privy Purses in 1971 under which the Indian government continued to pay former rajas and maharajas to live decently if not royally, brought the end of royalty in India in all but name. Indian royalty did not quite prosper as British royalty has.
Mayor Looks to Use Cricket on Political Pitch: London mayor Sadiq Khan’s interest in bringing IPL matches to London is clear. For a start, the IPL is seen as a money-spinner, and London would no doubt like to earn a thick slice from that IPL pie. The timing of the announcement is tell-tale, it comes before any serious talks on any shift of IPL to London, even partly. The mayor is seeking re-election on May 6. Some cricket-friendly and Indian-friendly talk must help – or so Sadiq Khan believes.
Dawood Aide to Walk Free: After all the arguments presented at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court by the US government seeking the extradition of Jabir Moti, he is set to walk free because the Americans decided they don’t want him any more. The US government presented lengthy arguments alleging his involvement in all sorts of crime on behalf of the Karachi-based D company said to be run by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Jabir Moti contested the US case strongly. At one point the magistrate observed that the court is awaiting further evidence from America because what was offered up until then did not appear firm enough. The court nevertheless ordered extradition, against which Jabir Moti appealed to the High Court. That appeal is now redundant. Not coincidentally perhaps the change comes with the coming in of the Biden administration.